New Restaurants Food+Drink

WELCOME TO K’S SHAWARMA: Mediterranean Eatery Joins Oakwood Mall

getting back into the food game, local family opens food court eatery on March 1

McKenna Scherer, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

GET IN ON THE SHAWARMA ACTION. With mouthwatering Mediterranean flavors, K's Shawarma opened in the Oakwood Mall on March 1.
GET IN ON THE SHAWARMA ACTION. With mouthwatering Mediterranean flavors, K's Shawarma opened in the Oakwood Mall on March 1 (Chicken Shawarma bowl with rice pictured). 

The Korim family, former Madison residents, settled into the Chippewa Valley about two years ago, buying and then operating Liberty Exteriors in Mondovi – but the food business was still calling their name. As of March 1, the family finally re-entered the food industry when K’s Shawarma opened in the Oakwood Mall food court, dishing out kabobs, wraps, salads, and more.

Samer Korim, originally from Egypt, was the chef behind sit-down Madison restaurant, The Nile, for a number of years alongside partner Elena Korim. After making the hard decision to close the restaurant around the time COVID-19 hit, the duo landed in the Chippewa Valley, raising their kids and working in the construction business.

Beef Kabob with rice.

As a chef, though, Samer never shook the passion for cooking, and Elena longed for the face-to-face, personal interactions that came with working in food service. “We found (the location at Oakwood Mall) and looked at it for a long time – probably one year – and it took a long time to go through inspections, licensing, and all of the details,” Elena explained. “We knew (the food we served here) needed to be fast. People weren’t going to be able to sit down with a glass of wine to wait (like at a sit-down restaurant).”

Elena and Samer dreamt up the K’s Shawarma menu by keeping a health-conscious lens on while bringing all the flavor. In the bowls, for example – beef Shawarma, chicken Shawarma, and gyro options available – you’ll find protein through meats alongside veggies, rice, and hummus. A main highlight is a mindfulness of different diets and food allergens.

Shawarma is a popular Middle Eastern dish and a favorite street-style food across the globe, mostly defined by the way it is cooked and seasoned. It features well-seasoned meats such as lamb, beef, and chicken, which are stacked in thin slices on a large rotating skewer and typically served in a wrap, pita, or sandwich style with an array of veggies like tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, and more.

Everything on the menu is gluten-free except for the tortillas. Vegan-friendly and vegetarian-friendly items are also found on the menu, as are keto-friendly options, and everything is dairy-free except for the feta cheese or tzatziki sauce found in the gyro sandwich. Each entree is right around the $10 mark with the option of adding on sides of rice and fries, with soda available.

The owners are extremely passionate about their food, but also their service, Elena expressing her love for people – during their years in Madison, she earned her master’s degree in psychology from UW-Madison, she noted – and her husband’s talent for cuisine. “He’s the brain and I’m like the mouth,” she laughed.

The Chippewa Valley has a severe lack of specific types of restaurants, including Mediterranean and Indian food, and the area’s only Indian restaurant – Mango Indian – is also in Oakwood Mall.

By offering locals a taste of more diverse food, K’s Shawarma hopes to add more options to its menu as the team settles in and gets used to the flow of business. Pick-up and delivery are available as well as catering options.

Greek Salad.
Beef Shawarma sandwich with fries.

Keep up with K's Shawarma on Facebook • Takeout is available by calling (715) 577-0734, as is third-party delivery from Door Dash • They are open daily in the Oakwood Mall (4800 Golf Road, Eau Claire).